1985 Vauxhall Nova L 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


A dirt cheap pile of rubbish with a list of problems as long as your arm


Day after I bought it the ignition failed and had to have it replaced at a cost of £40.

Three weeks later the driver's doorhandle fell off, but I was able to glue it back on.

The engine made a knocking noise, but the awful dealer said it was nothing.

Broke down at least once in all of the 15 months I owned it.

The tyres wore down quicker than any other car I've ever owned.

The gearbox had to be replaced at a cost of £100 because it got jammed.

Head gasket blew at 63,000 miles, it was then that I was fed up to the back teeth and sold it for £1,000.

General Comments:

The Nova was quite cheap to run, but that isn't enough to make up for this pile of misery. My previous car, an 80W Allegro 1300 was pretty bad, but this one was a nightmare. I used to be pleased with this Nova when it managed a local journey without breaking down. The dealer charged about twice as much as my previous dealer, and wouldn't check things when I told him to.

It was painfully slow to drive and the steering was heavier than a tank I had driven in the Gulf War several months earlier.

In the end I decided that all these problems were more than enough and I sold it to a dealer for £1,000.

The Nova was economical and easy to park, but otherwise it was a complete nightmare.

I will never buy a Vauxhall again in my life, certainly not another Nova.

Vauxhalls might have changed in the 18 years since this awful Nova was built, but the experience of one Vauxhall has told me that it will be my last Vauxhall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th October, 2003

21st Oct 2010, 09:37

I owned a Nova 1.2 for five years. Got rid of it when it had 130,000 miles on it. It was impossible to kill the thing. Drove it like a boy racer for 100,000 miles and it never went wrong. In second gear it kept up with 2.0 performance cars. Only problems were that tyres wore out every 9 thousand miles and it took about half a mile to stop the thing at anything over 30 miles per hour.

1985 Vauxhall Nova L 1.2 Sr from UK and Ireland


Boy racer base car


The fuel gauge has stopped working recently, and I have found that you have to look really carefully around the car for rust, the main spot being the battery tray and wheel arches.

The seats are a little on the flat side, but the gte/recaro's replace them nicely.

General Comments:

The car is impossible to get into reverse if the passenger seat is far forward, as the gear lever hits the seat and you are unable to get it into reverse.

If the car is well inspected regularly and well maintained then its no problems at all, an ideal car to modify if you are willing to put in the time and effort.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2003

1985 Vauxhall Nova 2 door saloon 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


A reliable first car


Brake pads went about 2 days ago.

Muck from the bottom of the tank got into the carburetter and blocked the jets causing the car to stall.

Front tyres needed replacing 3 months ago.

Rust taking over the rear wheel arches.

General Comments:

I've had 100mph out of her on 3 occasions, although it shook a bit it still stayed in one piece!!

Pretty reliable for the age and condition of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th June, 2001

1985 Vauxhall Nova SR 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Sound as a pound


Needed a new camshaft (common with all Novas) and also a new clutch and thrust bearing, it couldn't bear the engine mods.

General Comments:

Was quick enough when I first got it, but now I have put on the K&N induction kit, Bosch spark plugs, Janspeed exhaust and had the carb uprated it flies!!!!!!!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2000